affordable weddings http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9090/all en-US 10 Ways to Acquire Cheap Formal Wear http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-acquire-cheap-formal-wear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-acquire-cheap-formal-wear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5697882385_84fbe92123_z.jpg" alt="tuxedo" title="tuxedo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Prom and wedding season are just around the corner, which means that if you have a teenager who plans to participate in that annual rite of passage or friends or family getting hitched this spring or summer, you'll be in the market for formal wear before you know it.</p> <p>Formal wear can be expensive &mdash; especially if you're renting several times a year &mdash; so it might not be a bad idea to invest in permanent pieces that you can wear over and over. How can you score a good deal on a tux or a gown? Lots of ways, in fact. Here are 10 of them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-buy-or-not-to-buy-criteria-for-thrift-store-clothes-shopping">To Buy or Not to Buy?&nbsp;Criteria for Thrift-Store Clothes Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>1. Craigslist</h2> <p>There are two ways you can &quot;shop&quot; for formal wear on Craigslist. First, scour the Clothing and Accessories listing in the For Sale section of your area. My quick search for this post produced results for a tuxedo blazer and pants for $55 and another listing for a blazer for $40.</p> <p>The other way you can use Craigslist to find exactly what you need in the formal wear department is to post a listing detailing your needs. Savvy sellers aren't just listing on the site but also searching for those posts that they can fulfill with what they have.</p> <h2>2. Thrift Shops</h2> <p>Most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-goodwill-the-different-types-of-thrift-stores">thrift shops</a> have entire sections dedicated to formal wear, the bulk of which are gowns for girls and women. These dresses end up at thrift shops for various reasons, the most likely of which is that the previous owner didn't want to wear it again. Men's formal wear, on the other hand, is a bit harder to find because men tend to hold onto their tuxes since, for the most part, we're not compelled to go to every event in a different getup. Nonetheless, there are great formal wear finds for both sexes in the thrift shop, especially if you're looking for something out of the ordinary (powder-blue tux with ruffled shirt, anyone?) or perhaps even vintage.</p> <h2>3. Consignment Shops</h2> <p>Consignment shops are similar to thrift shops in that the clothing is previously owned, but unlike a thrift shop, these clothes aren't just tossed out. Instead they're put on sale by the original owner who will take a cut of the sale while providing a percentage to the storeowner for selling the clothing in their store. Thus, consignment shops are great for finding low cost formal wear that's more current in terms of style and in better shape than thrift shop finds.</p> <h2>4. Hand-Me-Downs</h2> <p>If you don't mind wearing your big brother or sister's hand-me-downs, you can score big in the formal wear department.</p> <p>If the items don't quite fit, you can have the pieces tailored &nbsp;(which you can also do with pieces you find on Craigslist or in the thrift shop, too). Since you're saving so much dough on the outfit itself, this expense shouldn't be a big deal. And ladies, if the gown isn't quite what you want or isn't necessarily your style, get creative and think of ways you can change it by making it shorter, removing straps, or embellishing with sequins, beads, or other design elements. You'll probably need to enlist help in this area, but, again, you can justify it since you didn't put anything out of pocket initially.</p> <h2>5. Discount Retailers</h2> <p>There are plenty of retailers that have reduced-cost formal wear, like Burlington Coat Factory, for instance. Additionally, some of these discount retailers have occasional sales that offer steeper savings or buy-one-get-one offers.</p> <h2>6. Go Halfsies With a Friend</h2> <p>When your favorite discount retailer has a can't-miss buy-one-get-one sale, try to find a friend who's also in the market for formal wear. If you can both benefit from a tux or gown of your own, you can split the cost and walk away with new duds that are, essentially, 50% off.</p> <h2>7. Garage and Yard Sales</h2> <p>If you're looking for formal wear at a garage or yard sale, be smart about the sales at which you stop. If it's hosted by 20-somethings trying to make rent by selling off some inventory, you can almost guarantee that there won't be any tuxes on the rack (although there may be gowns), and if you don't want to wear your grandpa's tux, skip the senior center sales, too. Your best bet is to stick to family-oriented sales; mom and dad may have owned formal wear at one time, but since the arrival of kids, simply can't fit into those duds anymore or just can't get away.</p> <h2>8. Piecemeal It</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-get-discounted-designer-shoes-without-using-ebay">Find the shoes at a thrift shop</a>; grab the shirt at a consignment shop; tie and vest at discount retailers; and the blazer and pants at a yard sale. Eventually you'll have a full outfit for which you may have paid less than you thought possible.</p> <h2>9. eBay</h2> <p>As I did with Craigslist, I searched eBay for formalwear specifically for this post. For men, there were tons of very affordable new and used choices in an abundance of styles for every black-tie occasion. The same applies to women's formal wear. In fact, I was surprised at the level of quality for the low cost. I thought <a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sexy-One-Shoulder-Pleated-Lady-Gowns-Prom-Evening-Formal-Party-Long-Maxi-Dress-/200879583081?pt=US_CSA_WC_Dresses&amp;var=&amp;hash=item2ec55b2f69" target="_blank">this green pleated dress</a> was particularly pretty and well priced. I have no affiliation with that listing, by the way. It's just a great example of the inexpensive selection that eBay offers.</p> <h2>10. Barter or Trade</h2> <p>Does a friend of yours have formal wear that you need or want? It doesn't hurt to let them know that you're interested in the pieces and offer to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/opting-out-of-the-money-economy">barter or trade</a> something of yours for it. My mother always told me that you'll never know the answer to something if you don't ask &mdash; and the worst thing they can say is no. If they say yes, however, you can add a great gala ensemble that'll make you look like a boss without ever breaking open your wallet.</p> <p><em>Have other ideas on how to snag cheap formal wear? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-acquire-cheap-formal-wear">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid">5 Bridesmaid Dress Ideas From a Bridesmaid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-leather-cleaners">The 5 Best Leather Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-waterproof-laptop-cases">The 5 Best Waterproof Laptop Cases</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-gel-nail-polishes">The 5 Best Gel Nail Polishes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Style affordable weddings formal wear gowns prom tuxedos Tue, 26 Mar 2013 10:00:30 +0000 Mikey Rox 971380 at http://www.wisebread.com Budget Bride: 131 Savvy Ways to Cut Wedding Costs http://www.wisebread.com/budget-bride-131-savvy-ways-to-cut-wedding-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/budget-bride-131-savvy-ways-to-cut-wedding-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/933220861_81d3a81e5d_z.jpg" alt="bridal party" title="bridal party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although many women dream of their <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" title="Latest photos and news for Wedding">wedding</a> when they were girls, I'm betting that as kids, most of them weren't able to process how much the big day costs. It's only after we've become adults and deal with grown-up stuff like school loans and 401(k) contributions that the true cost of a wedding really hits home.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Wedding-Planning-Checklist-3039079">RELATED: Wedding Planning Checklist</a></p> <p>Going into debt because of a wedding isn't exactly the most romantic way to start a marriage, so read on for suggestions to help you save money on your wedding.</p> <h3>1. Use the Best Credit Card for Wedding Expenses</h3> <p>When you're paying for your <a href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" title="Latest photos and news for Wedding">wedding</a> expenses, you might decide to use a credit card to enjoy some of the rewards. Before doing so, keep in mind that you should only charge what you can pay off immediately. It's not worth going into debt for just one day, no matter how special it is.</p> <p>That said, if you know you can pay off what you owe (preferably within a month!), then charging the expenses on credit cards will be a neat way of earning back cash and other rewards. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Credit-Cards-Wedding-Expenses-22590819">Here are some good options</a>.</p> <h3>2. Buy a Lab-Grown Diamond for Your Engagement Ring</h3> <p>We have come to a point in which scientists can create diamonds in the lab that are virtually indistinguishable from mined diamonds. If you're contemplating buying this lab-grown gem during your engagement ring hunt, then here are a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Man-Made-Diamonds-vs-Real-Diamonds-22826741">a few things you should know</a>.</p> <h3>3. Drop the Two-Month's Salary Engagement Rule</h3> <p>Do what works with your budget and a stone with significance. There is no hard and fast rule to buying an engagement ring, so don't sweat over forking over two months' salary if the both of you can't afford it. Keep in mind that you have more <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" title="Latest photos and news for Wedding">wedding</a> expenses to battle. Focus more on the significance of the ring instead of the price tag. Perhaps she'll be happier with an engagement ring that has her birthstone, or maybe she wants a man-made gem or a pre-worn ring with history. There are plenty of wallet-friendly options out there, so don't limit yourself to the never-been-worn traditional diamond ring!</p> <h3>4. Opt for a Bachelorette Staycation</h3> <p>Road trips and cross-country weekends may be fun, but you and your friends will save big if you choose a spot in your own city instead. Not only will you skip the cost of gas and airfare, but you'll also be more knowledgeable about the most fun, inexpensive places to go for your party.</p> <h3>5. Don't Just Dine Out and Drink Out for Your Bachelorette</h3> <p>Bringing your own food is a must for anyone who's hoping to save money. As soon as you arrive, make a trip to the local market to stock up on a variety of simple snacks. Even better? If you have the resources available, then you should plan to make a few meals yourselves. While you're at it, head to the liquor store, too. Buy your own booze, set up a bar area in the room, and ask pals to mix their favorite cocktail recipes for tasty sips minus the tips.</p> <h3>6. Have a One-Day Bachelorette Party</h3> <p>Sure, you'd like to have a nice, long weekend to spend with your pals, but the truth is, not everyone can afford to take that time off and spend so much extra money. Be realistic when you make your plans and consider your friends' budgets, too. Why not save some dough by limiting your bachelorette festivities to one day, instead of going all out for an entire weekend? If just one night of celebrating doesn't sound like enough fun, then consider making a whole day of it.</p> <p>For my bachelorette soiree, I spent the day brunching and getting manicures with my bridesmaids, and then we all had dinner together before hitting the town. I got to spend some serious quality time with my friends and sisters without breaking the bank with an entire weekend away.</p> <h3>7. Choose an Off-Season Date for Your Bachelorette Party</h3> <p>To get the most bang for your buck, it's smart to choose an off-season weekend for your festivities because prices will be lower across the board. Plus, since you'll likely have a larger party, it'll be nice not to fight extra crowds.</p> <h3>8. Pick a House, Not a Hotel, For Your Bachelorette Party</h3> <p>Rather than shelling out for a hotel room, why not rent a house instead? You'll have a more cozy, intimate atmosphere, and everyone will be free to come and go as they please &mdash; free of any messy, time-sensitive checkout situations.</p> <h3>9. Only Invite People Who Are in Your Life Currently</h3> <p>If you haven't seen someone in a long, long time, then they can probably be considered for your cut list. (Think childhood friends and old acquaintances.) A good rule of thumb: you should invite the people who know your fiancé &mdash; the people who have spent time with you as a couple, who play a part in your present lifestyle.</p> <h3>10. Cut the Guest List by Category</h3> <p>Divide your guests into groups: immediate family, closest relatives, extended relatives, family friends, friends, acquaintances, kids, coworkers, etc. Once you've both classified your lists, see if you can trim the list by removing entire categories. Maybe you can both nix the young kids, the acquaintances, and the coworkers. Keep going until exceptions start to pop up, and then evaluate each possible guest individually.</p> <h3>11. Embrace the Digital Age for Invites</h3> <p>While printed invitations are lovely, the purchase price adds up, especially when factoring in overseas mailing rates. If a simple email invite isn't your style for anything fancier than a weekend bar night or birthday party, then consider making a personal video to share the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" title="Latest photos and news for Wedding">wedding</a> details online. This happy couple had a talented friend who created and edited a short clip, so everyone could see it at the same time, for no cost at all.</p> <h3>12. Avoid Postage Pitfalls</h3> <p>Some very lovely <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" title="Latest photos and news for Wedding">wedding</a> invitations are square in shape, but did you know that the US Postal Service will tack on extra postage charges if the length divided by height is less than 1.3 or more than 2.5? And adding additional frills to envelope exteriors will also up the postage, so stick to simple, standard-size envelopes to avoid paying more.</p> <h3>13. Preempt Stationery Goofs</h3> <p>Proofread &mdash; a hundred times. Having your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" title="Latest photos and news for Wedding">wedding</a> invitations reprinted because you called your mother-in-law Carl instead of Carol will throw a wrench in your budget planning. And order extra invitations and envelopes just in case you forget to invite a coworker or your mother's distant cousin in Nigeria.</p> <h3>14. Print Your Own Stationery</h3> <p>If you're a wiz in Photoshop (or have a good pal who is), then think about designing and printing your own invitations and stationery. It might be more work, but you'll have the flexibility to choose any printing method that works with your budget, and you'll have the satisfaction of creating works of art for your big day!</p> <h3>15. Investigate Printing Options</h3> <p>Letterpress may be the ticket to an expensive-looking invitation, but the price usually matches the appearance. Look into thermography, which provides similar raised printing for much less than traditional letterpress. Or, for casual <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" title="Latest photos and news for Wedding">wedding</a> invites, laser printing is fast and inexpensive.</p> <h3>16. Get a Day-of Coordinator Instead of a Wedding Planner</h3> <p>If you find it hard to organize your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" title="Latest photos and news for Wedding">wedding</a> without a planner, then consider day-of coordinators, who will make sure your wedding day goes off without a hitch. According to <a target="_blank" href="http://offbeatbride.com/2010/06/do-you-need-a-wedding-planner">Offbeat Bride</a>, &quot;A good DOC will do quite a bit of troubleshooting for you in the weeks prior to your wedding.&quot;</p> <p>Here is a <a target="_blank" href="http://weddings.about.com/od/weddingplanners/a/needweddingplanner.htm">great checklist</a> from About.com to help you figure out if you need a wedding planner, could use a DOC, or can even go it alone.</p> <h3>17. Consider Eloping</h3> <p>Nowadays, it's not risqué or taboo to elope. That's because most people choose to do it because they want to and not because their father doesn't approve. Eloping has its benefits &mdash; a more intimate affair with your other half, no sticky family situations to deal with, a low-cost <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" title="Latest photos and news for Wedding">wedding</a>, zero planning . . . the list goes on. If you're game for an elopement, then check out <a target="_blank" href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Elope-12791868">these tips by expert Lisa Tabb</a>.</p> <p>The best part about &quot;running away&quot; to get married is that if you pick an out-of-town destination to elope to, then you can save money by combining your honeymoon and wedding.</p> <h3>18. Buy Favors in Bulk</h3> <p>Look for bulk or wholesale deals, which will trim your per-favor cost. Candy, soaps, and packaging are excellent candidates to find at low prices in large quantities.</p> <h3>19. Create a DIY Candy Buffet</h3> <p>Let your guests assemble their own favors and get a sweet treat while they're at it. Bulk candy is often less expensive than personalized gifts, and you can still make it special by buying candy in your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" title="Latest photos and news for Wedding">wedding</a> colors or offering your and your partner's favorite varieties.</p> <h3>20. Make Your Own Favors</h3> <p>If you or a willing friend or family member is crafty, then you could save a bundle by making and assembling your favors. A simple and cost-effective solution is burning a couple's <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> playlist onto CDs and printing out personalized covers or labels. Making your own favors will certainly take more time than buying pre-assembled gifts, so make sure that the cost savings outweigh the amount of work you will need to put into them!</p> <h3>21. Create a Few Signature Cocktails</h3> <p>Give your guests a taste of your personality as a couple by serving a signature drink or two. You'll limit the amount of alcohol imbibed since you can incorporate inexpensive mixers, and you can choose a less-expensive brand of alcohol. Not only will this selection help you stick to your budget, but also, your guests will enjoy learning more about you through your drink choices!</p> <h3>22. Create a Beverage Bar</h3> <p>A serve-yourself cocktail bar lets you control the amount of alcohol your guests consume when you provide dispensers with a couple bases (say, a raspberry lemonade vodka mixture). But give them plenty of fruits and other fun mixers to create something unique and their own.</p> <h3>23. Stagger What You Serve</h3> <p>Opt for an open bar during cocktail hour, but switch to wine and beer during dinner, cutting down on the cost of expensive liquors for the rest of the reception.</p> <h3>24. Don't Leave Bottles on the Table</h3> <p>Let your servers pour the wine throughout the night so guests are more apt to drink only what they need. Leaving wine bottles on the table encourages diners to pour impulsively, leading to more alcohol consumption overall.</p> <h3>25. Ask How Much Children's Meals Cost</h3> <p>Deciding if children should attend is always a conundrum, but if budget is a concern, then check with your caterer. Many catering companies don't charge for children's meals, so ask what their &quot;cut-off age&quot; is for kiddies, and let that inform your decision.</p> <h3>26. Repurpose Wedding Items</h3> <p>Consider repurposing certain facets of your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> day as favors. A grouping of bud vases with tiny flowers makes for an interesting centerpiece, and guests can take one home at the end of the night. Or serve slices of wedding cake in pretty cardboard boxes with a message of thanks attached to each. Heck, consider copy one bride's idea of reusing her and her bridesmaid's bouquets as centerpiece displays!</p> <h3>27. Try Afternoon Tea Instead of a Rehearsal Dinner</h3> <p>For something more elegant than a barbecue but not as expensive as a huge dinner, host an afternoon tea, complete with light lunch fare (who doesn't love tiny sandwiches?) and sweets. Trust me: an afternoon of tea will cost far less than a night full of wine, and it's kid friendly, too.</p> <h3>28. Save on Shoes</h3> <p>Don't splurge on those Jimmy Choos. Explore brands that are good for the wallet yet stylish. Check out outlet malls and discount department stores, but definitely keep comfort a priority.</p> <h3>29. Select a Naturally Beautiful Wedding Spot</h3> <p>A blank-slate reception hall will most likely be cheaper, but once you consider the cost of decking it out to your liking, are you really coming out ahead? Although the venue rental fee may be higher, a spot with natural beauty will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.</p> <p>Hold your ceremony and reception in a garden filled with flowers and trees, and you won't have to think much about decorating the space.</p> <h3>30. Hold Your Wedding in a Historical Site</h3> <p>Look for historical sites to host your reception. You might be able to claim the facility cost on your taxes.</p> <h3>31. Grow Succulents For Favors</h3> <p>Grow your own succulents and use them as displays <i>and</i> favors for guests to take home. It's a gift that will keep on giving!</p> <h3>32. Toss Out the Rice</h3> <p>Check out alternative ideas for the toss tradition, such as fabric poms, bubbles, sparklers, and flower petals.</p> <h3>33. Make Your Honeymoon a Road Trip</h3> <p>Plan a route through places you've never traveled to. Indulge in spontaneous stops in unusual towns, and plan a couple days in the bigger metropolitan areas to give yourselves time to explore. Play road-trip games and have heart-to-heart talks about your goals and dreams for the future.</p> <h3>34. Make Save-the-Date Postcards</h3> <p>Save the dates for weddings are important; your guests need to plan ahead, but it is a fact of life that most will end up in the garbage. I know I have received some expensive save the dates like magnets and elaborate paper invitations.</p> <p>To keep the cost down, make your own postcards. Use a picture of something meaningful, like the place where he proposed, and combine it with a vintagey <a title="Latest photos and news for Martha Stewart" href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Martha-Stewart" target="_blank">Martha Stewart</a> postcard template for the back. Find a local, inexpensive printing company for production. You should be able to get a good price on it, since you created the design yourself.</p> <h3>35. Stick to Wine and Beer Only</h3> <p>Mixed drinks with expensive liquor can really add up, so give your guests a choice of wine or beer to sip throughout the night.</p> <h3>36. Cut Back Creatively</h3> <p>If your guest list is ever-expanding but you can't bear to leave out your postman and dog groomer, then look at cutting back in other areas. Limit your bar to just beer and wine, or plan a laid-back picnic atmosphere to cut down on rental costs.</p> <h3>37. Consider What Your Guests Will Use</h3> <p>The best favors are not only personalized, but also useful. Edible gifts tend to be popular, but think about other items that represent your and your partner's interests and could be useful to a guest. All that money you saved on favors won't make a difference if they are all left behind on the table!</p> <h3>38. Factor in Shipping and Tax When Ordering Favors Online</h3> <p>If you're buying online, then total up the shipping cost before you click the purchase button. Even though you may be getting a steep discount on the merchandise itself, the shipping costs could make your order more expensive than buying it locally. On the other hand, some online vendors don't charge sales tax, a perk that will bring down the overall price.</p> <h3>39. Save on Flowers Without Doing Them Yourself</h3> <p>Use inexpensive blooms like carnations or baby's breath, or use succulents or potted plants. Skip big table arrangements and orchids. Get in-season blooms, and focus on fun colors of common blooms instead of expensive flowers.</p> <p>For budget- and eco-smart vases, hollow out fruits and vegetables for inexpensive vase alternatives. Pumpkins, watermelons, squash &mdash; they all work great!</p> <p>Consider doing a work trade with a local florist or flower farmer.</p> <h3>40. A Family Affair</h3> <p>Enlist the whole family to make things manageable. Ask your sister who loves baking if she'll make your cake or your uncle with that beautiful barn if you can use it as your venue.</p> <h3>41. Skip the Minister</h3> <p>If you don't belong to a religion or aren't religious, then ask a friend to officiate the <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> to save on the cost of hiring a priest. It'll feel more personal because your friend will know you better than the priest. The online &quot;ordination&quot; for your friend is also simple to do and inexpensive.</p> <h3>42. Take Over Your Fave Restaurant</h3> <p>Some of the best weddings take place in the couples' favorite restaurants. It's more affordable than you might think, and you'll often pay a flat fee for both the venue and the food.</p> <h3>43. Use the Bar's Well Alcohol</h3> <p>Some bars and bartenders get deals on certain types of liquor &mdash; savings they can pass on to you!</p> <h3>44. Don't Buy a Dress That Has to Be Changed</h3> <p>Alterations can get really pricey! Don't buy a dress just to have it changed completely later. And remember to schedule your fitting close to your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> date if you're planning on losing weight so you don't have to make repeated alterations.</p> <h3>45. Opt for DIY Reception Photos</h3> <p>To slash your photography budget even more without losing out on documenting every minute of the day, hire a professional photographer just for the ceremony (and the group shots immediately before or after). For the reception, use the old <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/Kodak-Plus-Digital-One-Time-Use-Camera/dp/B000089SEY%20onclick=">disposable-camera-on-the-table</a> trick and let your guests be your photographers. Sure, they may not be pro-looking, perfectly staged shots, but you'll get amazing candid photos of moments that a professional may have missed.</p> <h3>46. Save on the Morning-After Breakfast</h3> <p>To skip the high costs of a morning-after breakfast, make a simple and signature meal like muffins with jam.</p> <h3>47. Decorate Your Cake With Real Flowers</h3> <p>Instead of intricate flowers made from fondant or icing, consider decorating the cake with real flowers, perhaps the ones you're using at your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a>.</p> <h3>48. Serve Sheet Cake</h3> <p>You can get a smaller cake or have a few fake layers made of cardboard or Styrofoam while you cut up and serve sheet cake that's cut out of sight with no one the wiser. Many bakers provide this option, so you should definitely ask them about it.</p> <h3>49. Allow Mismatched Bridesmaids Dresses</h3> <p>Give your bridesmaids flexibility to choose a dress that works with their budget and body shape. You can pick a color and style requirement, such as a long purple dress, but let them choose a dress that they feel good in. If they are paying for the dress, then it's not fair to make them pay for a gown they will only wear once.</p> <h3>50. Look For Stationery Package Deals</h3> <p>See if your stationery vendor offers discounts for printing the entire suite of <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> paper products through them. Many brides think only about the invitations themselves, but save-the-dates, programs, table cards, place cards, and thank-you notes are other potential needs before, during, and after the event. Plan ahead, and have one vendor print everything at once.</p> <h3>51. Skip the Cake</h3> <p>The popularity of cupcakes has prompted many couples to serve them at their reception. While it's hard not to love the tinier bites of cake goodness, it's not all fad: cupcakes, <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> cookies, and even dessert bars are often less pricey than extravagantly iced tier cakes.</p> <h3>52. Get Rid of Individual Place Cards</h3> <p>Do you really need individual place cards? You can opt for a beautifully printed table-seating chart near the front door of the reception hall to list table assignments for guests, and it will undoubtedly save gobs on materials and printing. These days, invitations really don't need two envelopes, and multiple cards for the ceremony and reception details can often be overwhelming (and easy to lose). Consider a postcard for save the dates and response cards so you don't have to pay for envelopes.</p> <h3>53. Opt for Buttercream Frosting on Your Cake</h3> <p>Buttercream frosting is cheaper than fondant and tastes even better!</p> <h3>54. BYOB</h3> <p>Some venues will allow you to bring in your own wine and beer (and sometimes other types of alcohol) so that you can select cheaper options. While the occasional venue will pour your booze free of charge, most will charge a per-bottle corkage fee, so be sure to check ahead of time to ensure that it doesn't eat up the difference in your drink budget.</p> <h3>55. Go to Your Local Baker</h3> <p>Check with your local baker or online vendor to see if the costs are cheaper that a wedding-cake-oriented shop. You can usually get a better price with the ones who don't specialize in <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> cakes. Those who bake from home don't have to pay the overhead costs of a brick-and-mortar bakery, so that may result in a lower cost as well.</p> <h3>56. Sell Your Stuff After the Wedding</h3> <p>Sell your stuff! Once the <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> is over, round up anything that is still in good condition and sell it. Try eBay, Craigslist, or your local paper. You'd be surprised by how many people are looking. You can sell your arch, carpet runners, anything purchased for centerpieces (such as vases), and unused candles. Sell your wedding dress. Honestly, when are you going to wear it again? Do you really think your future daughter will want to wear it? It's a novel thought, but come on &mdash; styles change! Are you wearing your mother's wedding gown?</p> <h3>57. Ask the Right Questions When Buying a Used Dress</h3> <p>Buying a <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> dress that someone has only worn once will help you save plenty of bucks, and although it sounds like a great deal, you need to be aware that there are some risks involved. To reduce the chances of a purchase gone wrong, make sure you ask the seller <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Questions-Ask-Used-Wedding-Dress-Seller-15718982" target="_blank">these questions</a> before whipping out your credit card.</p> <h3>58. Choose Unstacked Cakes</h3> <p>Unstacked cakes on risers are cheaper than tiered cakes, so you might want to go for that option.</p> <h3>59. Watch the Videographer's Clock</h3> <p>Many videographers will charge you hourly for the time they spend at your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a>. Try to limit what they're filming so you'll save money on their shooting fees. You'll also save money on editing, since they'll have less raw footage to edit. For example, tell the videographer to only film the ceremony and to avoid other parts such as your pre-ceremony prep.</p> <h3>60. Save on Place Settings</h3> <p>Buy your place settings at Ikea to save on rental costs, and then give them to charity after the <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a>. You can also piece together items from flea markets for a more rustic and vintage look.</p> <h3>61. Host a Backyard Barbecue for the Rehearsal Dinner</h3> <p>Follow the &quot;invite every out-of-town guest&quot; rule, but host a casual, backyard barbecue instead of a fancy dinner. Afternoon or evening, catered, home-cooked, or even potluck, a budget-minded outdoor bash will give everyone a chance to relax before the big day.</p> <h3>62. Buy Wholesale Flowers</h3> <p>When purchasing flowers, look to wholesalers or a flower farm for the best prices.</p> <h3>63. Wear the Same Outfit to Different Weddings</h3> <p>Save on your dress as a <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> guest by wearing the same outfit and dressing it up with different accessories.</p> <h3>64. Plan a Group Activity for the Rehearsal Dinner</h3> <p>A fun rehearsal-dinner venue would be a bowling alley. You can even offer bowling shirts for the bride's and groom's &quot;teams.&quot; Whether you like bowling or some other activity, getting your group together over beer, bar food, and games is a great way for everyone to get to know each other.</p> <h3>65. Search Beyond Wedding Vendors for Favors</h3> <p><a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">Wedding</a> sites may have items tailored to favor-giving, but they sometimes come with a markup. Browse sites and stores that specialize in the item you're looking for, and try to think outside the box when it comes to potential deals. For example, search framing wholesalers for deep discounts on picture frames or chocolatiers for high-quality truffles or chocolate bars. Hopefully, you'll have money left over to pay for engraving or custom packaging!</p> <h3>66. Be Organized</h3> <p>Be organized and use a wedding-planning checklist (here's <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Wedding-Planning-Checklist-3039079">a good one</a>!). This way, you won't forget things at the last moment and have to pay more for last-minute prices. You can slip the checklist into your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> binder. Here are tips on how to <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Create-Wedding-Planning-Binder-23447489">start a comprehensive wedding folder</a>.</p> <h3>67. Choose Digital Photography</h3> <p>Digital photography is cheaper than using actual film, and the super-high-quality digital cameras out now mean you sometimes can't even tell the difference. And with the right method, the quality of your prints doesn't need to suffer, either. Find a digital photographer who's willing to give you the photos on disc, and then have the ones you want printed at a photo lab that knows how to handle digital prints. San Francisco's <a href="http://www.photoworkssf.com/" target="_blank">Photoworks</a>, for example, turns each digital photo into an actual negative and then develops them just like regular film.</p> <h3>68. Make Your Own Flowers</h3> <p>You can always go the <a href="http://www.geeksugar.com/DIY">DIY</a> route and make your flowers out of creative everyday items like tape and old book pages for an eco- and budget-conscious move. These handmade flowers will not only save your wallet, but they will also add a really unique and creative touch to the decor.</p> <h3>69. Think Outside the Plate</h3> <p>A meat-and-starch meal may be the traditional <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> route, but if you think about your and your partner's personalities, then you might be able to come up with a more creative &mdash; and cheaper &mdash; alternative. If you're movie buffs, then what about pizza? If together you've tried every burger west of the Mississippi, then assemble a choose-your-own toppings burger bar. If you throw the best cocktail parties in town, then combine cocktail hour with dinner and serve a heavy hors d'oeuvres buffet.</p> <h3>70. Consider Renting Food Trucks</h3> <p>These days, you can find just about any food in the form of a food truck. Most are available to rent for private events, so call up your favorite taco or crepe truck to check out their prices, which are usually much lower than the per-head cost of a catered meal.</p> <h3>71. Serve Yourself</h3> <p>A sit-down dinner may seem like the only option for an elegant evening, but a buffet can still be formal. Buffets cut down on the amount of staff needed to serve dishes, and your caterer can add fun frills like made-to-order omelettes and meat slicing.</p> <h3>72. Have an Early Wedding to Save on Food</h3> <p>There's more of an expectation for a multicourse meal at dinner, so moving up your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> to earlier in the day allows you more meal-planning flexibility. At brunch or lunch, guests are inclined to be happy with just a main course.</p> <h3>73. Limit Meal Options</h3> <p>The more meal options you offer, the higher your bill. Instead of providing your guests a choice between meat, chicken, and fish, choose one to serve to everyone (while providing a vegetarian option for guests who request it).</p> <h3>74. Seek Out Culinary Schools</h3> <p>If your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> site is near a culinary school, then investigate whether they cater or can host private events. Prices are usually dramatically lower than using a caterer or renting a restaurant, and you'll often get more staff than you would through established professionals.</p> <h3>75. Use Artificial Flowers</h3> <p>If you're not the <a title="Latest photos and news for DIY" href="http://www.casasugar.com/DIY" target="_blank">DIY</a> sort, then you can always purchase artificial flowers, whether made of plastic or some other material. They tend to be a lot cheaper and last longer as well.</p> <h3>76. Entertain Out-of-Town Wedding Guests on the Cheap</h3> <p>Plan a day-after picnic at a local park. Make sangria with affordable boxed wine, serve simple picnic food, and play lawn games.</p> <h3>77. Package Your Photography and Video Deal</h3> <p>Find out if you can get a better deal by hiring the photographer and videographer together. This means that they will also be working together as opposed to clashing &mdash; another bonus for you.</p> <h3>78. Factor in the Costs of Assistants</h3> <p>Videographers may bring their assistants along for the job, and although it's handy to have other cameras around to capture different angles, you will also be paying more. You might want to cut the number of assistants to save money.</p> <h3>79. Alternative Centerpieces</h3> <p>You can always use non-plant centerpieces to save money on flowers as well. Some alternatives include framed photos, shells, candles, and dessert.</p> <h3>80. Double Up Your Bridesmaid Bouquets</h3> <p>Use your bridesmaids flowers as centerpieces for the tables. Browse Etsy for cute holders that will let you display them artfully.</p> <h3>81. Use Greenery Instead of Flowers</h3> <p>Instead of flowers, consider using greenery to decorate your table or amp up your bouquets. It's a refreshing take on the traditional <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> flowers.</p> <h3>82. Shop Online Marketplaces for Favors</h3> <p>Search for items on sites like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon, and compare those prices with local vendors to find the best deals.</p> <h3>83. Try Shrimp Boil for Your Rehearsal Dinner</h3> <p>A shrimp boil is an affordable all-in-one meal that doesn't require utensils.</p> <h3>84. Use Your Network to Find a Photographer</h3> <p>Have a friend or family member who has a knack for photography but isn't necessarily a professional? You'd be surprised by the quality of photos a talented amateur photographer can snap. Of course, if your photographer buddy is someone you're inviting to the <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> anyway, you'll certainly want to make sure he or she is OK with taking on the responsibility. But having someone you know shoot your big day has huge advantages: you'll be more at ease being photographed, and you may feel comfortable letting him or her snap more intimate moments.</p> <h3>85. Hold Hard-and-Fast Invitation Rules</h3> <p>Tight on space? If you've decided that only your bridal party and engaged pals can bring plus-ones, then you should try to stick to that rule. It's the best way to avoid offending your loved ones, and it's an easy way to limit extra add-ons.</p> <h3>86. Substitute Expensive Ingredients</h3> <p>If a caterer presents a dish that sounds mouth-watering but comes at a premium, then ask if they can substitute in a less expensive ingredient. For example, instead of filet mignon, see if they can use tenderloin medallions. Also be wary of out-of-season ingredients, and ask your caterer if local, in-season substitutes can bring down the cost.</p> <h3>87. Look for Discontinued Items</h3> <p>Stores will offer deep discounts on items that are being discontinued. Just make sure they still have enough to cover all your guests!</p> <h3>88. Use In-Season Flowers</h3> <p>Flowers that are in season tend to be cheaper than those that aren't, so consider visiting your local florist to get the details.</p> <h3>89. Try Ethnic Bakeries</h3> <p>Explore affordable but beautiful <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> cake at ethnic bakeries. Just like with items sold at ethnic grocery chains, the baked goods tend to be cheaper, too.</p> <h3>90. Cater to the Kids</h3> <p>If you expect a lot of children to attend, then make sure your caterer provides smaller, cheaper kids' meals.</p> <h3>91. Hold Your Wedding in a Naturally Floral Setting</h3> <p>If you hold your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> in a place with a lot of beautiful flowers already in place, like a garden or a backyard, then you won't need to purchase any from the store. You can enjoy nature's beauty without the need to cut any flowers!</p> <h3>92. Make a Signature Cocktail</h3> <p>You can save on bar costs by making a signature cocktail like sangria or rum punch.</p> <h3>93. Opt for Brunch Instead</h3> <p>If you want to invite all of the out-of-town guests to something but a huge rehearsal dinner isn't in your budget, then host a post-wedding brunch for everyone. Just explain to your guests that you have to keep the rehearsal dinner small but that you'd love to have them join you for the brunch. It's a great way to bid everyone farewell and thank them for coming.</p> <h3>94. Buy the Supermarket Cake</h3> <p>There's a burgeoning trend of <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Buying-Wedding-Cake-Supermarket-23838934">supermarket wedding cakes</a>, and many chains are even adding fancy fondant designs and details. The cost of these grocery store <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> cakes can cost you about $300 &mdash; a bargain compared to specialty wedding cakes.</p> <h3>95. Bust Out the Karaoke Machine</h3> <p>A fun alternative to expensive DJs and bands would be to rent a karaoke machine. It's a great way to get everyone excited and to cater to everyone's music taste.</p> <h3>96. Have a Potluck Wedding</h3> <p>If you're willing to forgo gifts, then ask your guests to bring a potluck dish instead. You can group guests into categories (main course, salad, etc.) or ask them to provide a themed dish that reflects your personality as a couple. Make it fun, and not only will it alleviate your budget woes, but it will also make your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> an event to remember! You can offer an open bar in return.</p> <h3>97. Go Paperless</h3> <p>Evite may have been the first to market with online invitations, but plenty of other services have followed suit with gorgeous templates and customization options to create the online save the date or <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> invitation of your dreams. Try <a href="http://www.paperlesspost.com/" target="_blank">Paperless Post</a>, <a href="http://glosite.com/" target="_blank">Glo</a>, or <a href="http://www.pingg.com/occasion/weddings" target="_blank">Pingg</a>. Most options allow you to send an invitation and field RSVPs without a single stamp. Even if you send paper invitations, cut down on costs by asking guests to RSVP by email or on a password-protected website.</p> <h3>98. Share With Other Brides</h3> <p>See if there are other brides holding a <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> on the same day at your venue at a different time. Perhaps you can coordinate with the other bride to share flowers once the other's wedding is done.</p> <h3>99. Hire a Film Student</h3> <p>Take a look around to see if there are any film students who are willing to shoot your special moments for a cheaper price. There is some serious talent in those film schools! But make sure you take a look at his past work before hiring.</p> <h3>100. Donate to Charity</h3> <p>Instead of tangible gifts, leave a note or certificate at each place setting letting your guests know that you've made a donation to your favorite charity in their name. If your favor budget precludes you from buying suitable <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> favors, then you can use it to make a difference and share the warm feelings with your guests as well.</p> <h3>101. Try Custom Carbo-Loading</h3> <p>Opt for a build-your-own-pasta buffet catered by a local restaurant. Each guest will be able to choose exactly what type of meat, fish, veggies, or sauce he or she wanted, and the chefs will toss together a customized pasta dish. It is just as easy and much more delicious and fun than a traditional buffet.</p> <h3>102. Keep Your Video Simple</h3> <p>Don't go crazy by making your video really fancy with special effects and sounds, which may distract the viewer and it can possibly look really cheesy years later. These fancy additions will also cost you more, as the videographer will have to spend more time on editing. Stick to a simple DVD case as well or make your own instead.</p> <h3>103. Browse Craigslist For Photography Help</h3> <p>If you're looking for budget photos, then skip the <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> sites and directories and head to Craigslist (search &quot;photographer&quot; in the Creative Services section). Budding wedding photographers looking to build experience and portfolios often list their services here at a fraction of the cost of more-seasoned pros. Plus, newer photographers can bring a fresh eye to your big day and capture fun, unique shots. Just be sure to ask for plenty of samples and references.</p> <h3>104. Edit the Video Yourself</h3> <p>Request the raw footage from the videographer and edit it on your own. Take an online class to gain some video-editing skills for programs such as Final Cut Pro. <a href="http://www.lynda.com/" target="_blank">Lynda.com</a> is a good site for these types of tutorials. I actually shoot and edit videos on my own, and it's not that hard once you get the hang of it. Or find a video-obsessed pal who will be able to do it for you for cheap or free!</p> <h3>105. Be Your Own DJ</h3> <p>You'll be busy with many other details on your big day, but if you know the tunes that can cause your guests to cut a rug, then grab an iPod and create your own playlists beforehand. For the ceremony, choose songs for the processional, recessional, and the bride's big entrance. For the reception, you'll need a song or two for the bridal party introductions, then some mellow tunes to dine by, the first-dance music, and a long playlist to keep your guests dancing into the night. Have a friend be responsible for DJ and emcee duties while you enjoy the evening with your sweetie!</p> <h3>106. Hire a Limited Engagement</h3> <p>If you simply can't do without your town's cover band of the moment but an entire night of live music won't jive with your budget, then see if they are willing to play just one set during your reception. You can bookend their appearance with a DJ or a playlist on your MP3 player, and you can advertise the evening's headliner to your guests ahead of time.</p> <h3>107. Seek a Friendly Tune</h3> <p>If the phrase &quot;I'm with the band&quot; has become your weekend mantra, then you might have cheaper <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> music at your fingertips. Ask your cousin at Juilliard to help you down the aisle at the ceremony and your pal on the nightclub circuit to make an appearance at your reception. Your guests will love the live music, and you'll always remember rocking out to your friend's melodies on your big day.</p> <h3>108. Show a Student Feature</h3> <p>If your ceremony or reception calls for a string quartet, then contact your local music conservatory to find out if they hire out student quartets. These groups are usually less expensive than professional musicians.</p> <h3>109. Pick a DJ Over a Band</h3> <p>Hiring a DJ is generally cheaper than hiring a live band, and they often serve a dual purpose: playing music and performing emcee duties for the night. If the vibe of your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> can accommodate what's considered to be a more casual entertainment option, then a DJ is a great way to trim costs.</p> <h3>110. Trim Instruments</h3> <p>A 12-person band will be more expensive than a four-person one, but a smaller headcount doesn't translate to inferior quality. A guitar solo can be a beautiful way to accompany those special moments at the ceremony, and a smaller band may be just the thing for your intimate reception setting.</p> <h3>111. Beware of Overtime Entertainment Charges</h3> <p>Many <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> entertainment options can be hired for a certain block of time but charge at steeper rates if that time frame is surpassed. Be on the safe side and book your band or DJ for an additional hour beyond when you think you might need them, just in case your guests call for an encore.</p> <h3>112. Attend a Wedding Fair to Negotiate Videographer Prices</h3> <p>Attend a <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> fair and try to negotiate a better rate with the videographers you meet there. You may be able to get discounts the usual rate just by haggling with the videographer in person at the fair.</p> <h3>113. Choose the Least Popular Time</h3> <p>Your best bet for saving at a <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> venue is to pick a time that's not too popular with brides. For example, skip the Saturday date and opt for a weekday or Sunday. Throw a daytime wedding for a lower booking fee. Consider choosing off-season times to throw your wedding, such as the Winter months, which tend to be cheaper.</p> <h3>114. Look Into Alternative Locations</h3> <p>Don't immediately opt for the most conventional locations like the ballroom at the five-star hotel, because the prices for those places will be inflated due to demand. Check out other venues such as a university, public park, gallery, museum, or someone's backyard.</p> <h3>115. Take Advantage of Decor You Already Love</h3> <p>Pick a venue that's already beautiful or that will require minor decor tweaks so you won't need extra <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> decorations. And if you get married outdoors in a garden, then even better! There are no better decorations than what mother nature will provide.</p> <h3>116. Ask What's Included With the Venue</h3> <p>When you're taking a look at the venue, remember to ask what's included in your package, just to get a better estimate of the total cost. For example, items like portable toilets, tables, and chairs may need to be factored in. Better yet, book a place that already owns everything you'll need for your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> (chairs, tables, etc.), and see if you can get an all-inclusive deal.</p> <h3>117. Go for Rural Areas</h3> <p>Getting married in a small town or some other rural area may help you find cheaper prices. Stay away from hot <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> spots, though, even in rural areas, because those prices can still be pretty expensive.</p> <h3>118. Combine the Ceremony and the Reception</h3> <p>Having the ceremony and the reception in the same location means that you only need to pay for one venue. You'll also be saving on decoration and guest-transportation costs.</p> <h3>119. Get a Preowned Dress</h3> <p>A preowned dress has most likely been used only once, so if you dry-clean the dress, then it's bound to look like new. Take a look online at sites like <a href="http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/" target="_blank">Preowned Wedding Dresses</a> or <a href="http://www.recycledbride.com/" target="_blank">RecycledBride</a> to see what's available. You'll be able to get a high-end gown at a cheaper price! But make sure to factor in the risk of online transactions, do your research properly, and grill the seller.</p> <h3>120. Pick a Locale and Date First, Then the Dress</h3> <p>Figure out the venue and the date of your <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> <i>before</i> getting the dress so that your dress will suit the temperature and surroundings of the event.</p> <h3>121. Get the Indie Dress</h3> <p>Check out indie designers on sites like <a href="http://www.etsy.com/" target="_blank">Etsy</a> and <a href="http://www.wedzu.com" target="_blank">Wedzu</a> for a one-of-a-kind bridal gown that will usually be much cheaper than a brand-name dress.</p> <h3>122. Check Out Trunk Shows for Dresses</h3> <p>Check out trunk shows that will often have special discounts on designer dresses. Some designers may even be willing to add small customizations.</p> <h3>123. Samples Will Help You Save</h3> <p>Just like furniture stores, bridal shops have samples too! Bridal stores often have samples of <a title="Latest photos and news for Wedding" href="http://www.tressugar.com/Wedding" target="_blank">wedding</a> dresses (usually size 8 or 10) for brides to try on a selection of styles before they buy. Sometimes the retailers will sell the dresses if they are still in good condition, so be sure to ask your local bridal boutiques about them! Wedding gown samples can also be bought at trunk shows.</p> <h3>124. Look for Affordable Bridal Lines</h3> <p><a href="http://www.shopstyle.com/browse/Vera-Wang?utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=sugar-brand&amp;utm_campaign=24345205" auto_link_filter="" title="Shop for Vera Wang" target="_blank">Vera Wang</a> has a much more affordable <a href="http://www.davidsbridal.com/Browse_White-by-Vera-Wang" target="_blank">wedding dress line</a>, White, at David's Bridal.</p> <p>Mass retailers like <a href="http://www.jcrew.com/wedding.jsp" target="_blank">J.Crew</a> and <a href="http://www.anntaylor.com/womens-wedding-dresses.shtml" target="_blank">Ann Taylor</a> also have affordable options for the savvy bride.</p> <h3>125. Dress Up Simple Features</h3> <p>Get a simple sheath, and dress it up with a splash of color from a vibrant sash, wrap, or piece of jewelry.</p> <h3>126. Save on the Honeymoon With This Registry</h3> <p>If your house is full of Tupperware and you're not in need of any items, you might want to set up a honeymoon registry. My pick is <a href="http://www.honeyfund.com/" target="_blank">Honeyfund.com</a> because it's free and easy to use. There are lots of honeymoon registries online, but many of them charge fees.</p> <p>You can list parts of your honeymoon, such as the air ticket and hotel breakfast. The honeymoon registry is a great way for your guests to chip in for an experience gift.</p> <h3>127. Avoid Credit Card Fees When Overseas</h3> <p>Many credit card companies apply fees to purchases made in foreign currencies, so check with yours to see how their fee would compare to international ATM surcharges. If you own several cards, then check with each about their fees on foreign purchases and use the card with the lowest fees.</p> <h3>128. Consider a Travel Agent</h3> <p>While travel agents typically charge a couple hundred dollars as their planning fee, they could potentially save you money overall. They often have access to better deals than you can find yourself, and they're willing to work within your stated budget. Not all travel agents fit this helpful bill, so ask around and get agent recommendations from friends and family.</p> <h3>129. Pick an Off-Season Locale</h3> <p>Choosing an off-season location will be cheaper than visiting a place during its peak tourist time. Online research will give you a good idea of when various places experience their high seasons, and a travel agent would surely be in the know about seasonality.</p> <h3>130. Go Camping for Your Honeymoon</h3> <p>Plan for a romantic trip in the great outdoors. There's nothing more perfect than lying under the stars and enjoying the fresh air with your newly wedded partner &mdash; it's like escaping to a different world.</p> <h3>131. Be Flexible With Destinations</h3> <p>After you've determined how much you can afford to spend on your honeymoon, it's time to choose your ideal place to vacation as newlyweds. Costs can vary greatly depending on destination, so come up with a list of three to five places that you'd love to visit. Your budget may be fixed, but flexibility when it comes to the destination will make it easier to find an option that's affordable.</p> <p>Here's an extra tip for careful planners: you can go on <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Freelance-Personal-Assistants-23164735" target="_blank">Taskrabbit</a>, an online task-and-errand service, and <a href="http://www.taskrabbit.com/all/vacation-planning" target="_blank">pay someone to help plan your honeymoon</a>. It's much cheaper than hiring a professional planner. In fact, the most popular historical price for vacation planning service on the site, according to TaskRabbit data, is $30.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes, you CAN have a beautiful, magical wedding that doesn&#039;t traumatize your bank account. Check out this massive list of ways to cut down on costs. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border: medium none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Wedding-Letters-From-Obama-23916166">How to Get a Congratulatory Wedding Note From the Obamas</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-Giving-Wedding-Toast-23682802">5 Tips for Giving a Standout Wedding Toast</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Where-Buy-Engagement-Ring-15511993">Savvy Websites for the Engagement Ring Buyer</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budget-bride-131-savvy-ways-to-cut-wedding-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding">8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-a-second-marriage-be-celebrated-and-paid-for-like-the-first">Should a Second Marriage Be Celebrated (and Paid for) Like the First?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas">Alternative Wedding Registry Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shave-5000-off-your-wedding-expenses">How to Shave $5,000 Off Your Wedding Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid">5 Bridesmaid Dress Ideas From a Bridesmaid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle affordable weddings bachelorette party honeymoon Mon, 17 Sep 2012 10:36:41 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 954524 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Shave $5,000 Off Your Wedding Expenses http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shave-5000-off-your-wedding-expenses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-shave-5000-off-your-wedding-expenses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5929478715_eca1e5df0e_z.jpg" alt="wedding" title="wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So many of my friends come to me for tips on how to save money on life&rsquo;s great expenses.</p> <p>I fancy myself an expert on how to shop for food in a more cost-effective manner, where to find the best discounts on home décor, and how to have an awesome vacation on a budget, but when it comes to cutting costs on a wedding I&rsquo;m as clueless as the next guy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-ideas-for-big-savings">Alternative Wedding Ideas for Big Savings</a>)</p> <p>When I have to answer a wedding-budget question from my friends, I turn to Josie Daga, founder of <a href="http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com">PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com</a>. If I can't answer my friends' questions about how to save on their wedding, I know she can. Not only did Josie fix her problem of not being able to unload her wedding dress after her wedding by creating a business designed to help other women do it, but she's an all-around wedding genius. And she should be, too. She's attended more than 100 weddings, and she's been a bridesmaid in at least 14 ceremonies. That's a crazy amount of weddings, but they've given Josie inside knowledge on the best money-saving tips and tricks for the big day.</p> <p>According to The Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is about $26,000. With Josie&rsquo;s suggestions, however, you can slash that price tag by more than $5,000 in areas where you don&rsquo;t have to sacrifice quality, and your guests will never know you skimped. Take a look.</p> <h2>Invitations</h2> <p>My husband and I didn&rsquo;t have a proper wedding, but we did throw a celebratory party for our family and friends about six months after we said our I-dos. The actual party was more important to us than the invitations that our guests would eventually throw away, so we opted for e-invites. We saved many hundreds of dollars by going that route &mdash; money that we threw back into the food and bev budget &mdash; but I totally understand that many of you (brides, at least) aren&rsquo;t willing to forgo formal invitations&hellip;and you don&rsquo;t have to.</p> <p>Josie&rsquo;s advice: &ldquo;Invitations are the first impression you give your guests of your wedding. They should signal the style of your event and reflect your personality, but don&rsquo;t need to cost a fortune. Letterpress will cost you $750 on just 100 invites and response cards, but you can get an equally beautiful invitation with thermography for $400. That&rsquo;s a savings of $350, and most guests won&rsquo;t know the difference.&rdquo;</p> <h2>The Dress</h2> <p>My husband and I saved big here when we eloped because, well, we&rsquo;re two dudes. Not everyone is so lucky, of course.</p> <p>Josie&rsquo;s advice: &ldquo;The average cost of a dress and accessories is $1,500. You can cut the cost of your dress by 50% ($750) by purchasing a preowned gown. Most preowned gowns have been worn only once, with great care, and many have never been worn at all. Or, if your heart is set on a new gown, sell it after your big day and recoup 50% of what you spent.&rdquo;</p> <p>Of course, if you don't like the idea of wearing a preowned dress, there are other ways to cut costs on the gown, which include renting a dress (yep, you can do that) and shopping last-season sales. The latter can save you 30% percent or more off your dream dress.</p> <h2>Venue</h2> <p>My husband and I saved lots of money on the place where we got married because it was at a courthouse in Connecticut, but we did rent a venue for the party. A nice reception venue will never be cheap, but you can save a pretty penny if you put in the time and effort to search various establishments and compare prices and amenities.</p> <p>Josie&rsquo;s advice: &ldquo;Having your ceremony and reception at the same place can save you $1,000 by reducing costs on everything from venue fees to chair rental to delivery fees. And you&rsquo;ll reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding, which benefits everyone.&quot;</p> <h2>Flowers</h2> <p>This is another area where it paid to be two guys getting married because neither one of us are particularly interested in flowers. In fact, we didn&rsquo;t have any flowers at all because we had a winter party, and I decided to have centerpieces that included white-painted branches instead of flowers. Still, flowers are crucial for some, but they don&rsquo;t have to cost a bundle.</p> <p>Josie&rsquo;s advice: &ldquo;Wired bouquets can cost 40% more than equally beautiful hand-tied ones because of the time it takes a florist to create them. Spend $100 instead of $140 on a bridal bouquet and $50 instead of $70 on flowers for your four <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid">bridesmaids</a> for a savings of $120. You can also use fewer flower arrangements at your reception by creating larger tables. Instead of tables of eight, host tables of twelve; for 140 guests, you&rsquo;ll need 12 centerpieces instead of 18. At $75 a centerpiece, you&rsquo;ve just saved $300 on flowers.&rdquo;</p> <h2>The Bar</h2> <p>An open bar was a nonnegotiable expense at our party &mdash; it was a must-have (and I won&rsquo;t attend any wedding without one) &mdash; but we were able to score a win by getting the venue to add an extra hour of liquor service for no additional cost. If you can&rsquo;t or don&rsquo;t want to have an open bar, consider select cocktails instead.</p> <p>Josie&rsquo;s advice: &ldquo;An open bar is a big expense that can easily reach $2,800 for a party of 140. Instead of stocking a full bar, offer your guests beer and wine along with one or two <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-tasty-two-ingredient-cocktails">signature cocktails</a>. Make the signature cocktail fun by creating it in your wedding colors, or offer a 'Bride&rsquo;s Recommendation' and a 'Groom&rsquo;s Recommendation.' In addition to injecting your personality into your event, you&rsquo;ll save at least $800 on the bar tab for those 140 guests.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Music</h2> <p>Not only is a DJ far less expensive than a band, but a DJ also provides a mix of tunes that everyone is sure to enjoy. Also, you get into very dangerous territory with a band because some guests might not like their style, which can bring the party down if the guests start dozing off after dinner.</p> <p>Josie&rsquo;s advice: &ldquo;The music at your wedding is a big part of setting the tone &mdash; and creating the fun of your party. Both a band and a DJ will do a great job, but at very different rates. You&rsquo;ll spend at least $3,000 to hire a good wedding band, but only $1,100 for a DJ. So pocket the savings and let your guest hear 'Party Rock Anthem' just the way LMFAO sings it.&rdquo;</p> <p>The savings so far:</p> <ul> <li>Invitations: $350</li> <li>Dress/ accessories: $750</li> <li>Venue: $1,000</li> <li>Flowers: $120</li> <li>Centerpieces: $300</li> <li>Bar: $800</li> <li>Music: $1,900</li> </ul> <p>Total Savings: $5,220</p> <h3>More Smart Ways to Save on Wedding Expenses From Josie</h3> <ul> <li>Use your bouquets on your cake table. They&rsquo;ll look gorgeous and you won&rsquo;t need to spend money on any other decorations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Opt for passed <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-seafood-appetizers-to-impress-your-guests">hors d&rsquo;oeuvres</a> instead of stations. Guests tend to eat less of the passed version &mdash; which can add up to savings.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Skip the champagne toasts. No one will even notice.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use table runners instead of expensive tablecloths. The look is just as elegant.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Order a smaller cake. Order a &ldquo;show cake&rdquo; big enough to feed 75% of your guests, and serve the rest from a less expensive &ldquo;kitchen cake.&quot; No one will even know and your cake cutting photos will look just as silly.</li> </ul> <p><em>Where did you cut corners on your wedding costs? Were you able to reduce your budget in a big way for your big day? Let me know all about your savvy spending in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shave-5000-off-your-wedding-expenses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lessons-in-frugality-from-the-walking-dead">Lessons in Frugality From &quot;The Walking Dead&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-clever-ways-to-sample-the-good-life">8 Clever Ways to Sample the Good Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-couponing-5-reasons-why-i-ll-pass">Extreme Couponing? 5 Reasons Why I’ll Pass.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entertainment Lifestyle affordable weddings expert tips flowers Fri, 27 Jul 2012 10:24:38 +0000 Mikey Rox 944068 at http://www.wisebread.com Alternative Wedding Registry Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3986349713_5acc987522_z.jpg" alt="wedding" title="wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't want to buy my friends a $80+ stainless steel trashcan. And I certainly do not expect them to buy one for me.&nbsp;Or a soap dispenser, or ice tongs, or many of the other trappings that traditionally make up a wedding registry.</p> <p>Sure, getting new stuff is nice, and I love the idea of helping a new couple out. But so many registries for weddings I've been to have felt impersonal, and they're often filled with lots of wants and very few needs.</p> <p>As a guest, you're at the mercy of the happy couple. But if you're planning to get married soon, here are some alternative ideas for your registry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-useful-gifts">25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>1. Home Improvement Stores</h2> <p>If you want to make sure you'll get gifts from your wedding that you'll actually use, register somewhere that provides useful gifts. Check out tool-heavy stores like Sears, or create a registry using the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/">Amazon Wish&nbsp;List</a> feature or a tool like <a href="http://www.registrystop.com/?v=2">Registry Shop</a>, which allow you to include items from sites across the internet in your list.</p> <h2>2. Honeymoon Fund</h2> <p>Want an awesome honeymoon? Have other people pay for it! There are lots of registries, such as <a href="http://www.honeyfund.com/">Honey&nbsp;Fund</a>, that allow guests to not only fund your trip, but choose to pay for certain experiences, such as meals out or snorkling trips.</p> <h2>3.&nbsp;Home Down-Payment Fund</h2> <p>Similar to the honeymoon idea, you can ask for donations for a goal such as buying a house. And yup &mdash; there are sites just for that too, such as <a href="http://www.hatchmyhouse.com/">Hatch My House</a>.</p> <h2>4. Charitable Donations</h2> <p>If you really don't want or need anything from your wedding guests, say so. But there will almost always be the person who insists on giving <em>something</em>. Designate a favorite charity that your guests can donate to in your name. Using a site like <a href="https://www.justgive.org/">Just Give</a> makes it easy.</p> <h2>5. Items You Already Use</h2> <p>Register at a store like Target for things you already use and buy regularly, such as shampoo or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-house-in-one-day">cleaning products</a>.</p> <h2>6. Things for the Actual Wedding</h2> <p>Instead of asking for post-wedding gifts, ask friends and family to donate funds, items, or services for the actual ceremony and reception.&nbsp;Your wedding gets paid for, and everybody gets to enjoy your presents.</p> <h2>7. Cash</h2> <p>It may not be personal, but it's always useful. Plus it allows you to think about one less thing during the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding">busy time leading up to your wedding</a>. When you're already under stress, do you really want to get in an argument over which plates you want to use for the next 20 years?</p> <p><em>What are your favorite alternative wedding gifts or registries?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-put-on-and-leave-off-your-wedding-registry">What to Put On (and Leave Off) Your Wedding Registry</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding">8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-a-second-marriage-be-celebrated-and-paid-for-like-the-first">Should a Second Marriage Be Celebrated (and Paid for) Like the First?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budget-bride-131-savvy-ways-to-cut-wedding-costs">Budget Bride: 131 Savvy Ways to Cut Wedding Costs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle affordable weddings useful gifts wedding registry Fri, 11 May 2012 10:24:16 +0000 Meg Favreau 929135 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/last_minute_wedding.jpg" alt="Bride" title="Bride" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Five months out, we recently made some cost-cutting changes to our wedding plans.&nbsp;</p> <p>Scaling back makes the most financial sense for us, and we left ourselves enough time to plow ahead with a cheaper and equally enjoyable reception with our closest friends and relatives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-ideas-for-big-savings">Alternative Wedding Ideas for Big Savings</a>)</p> <p>But the decision to pivot and shift plans left us feeling stressed, despite the 150-day cushion. What about those who don&rsquo;t have the luxury of time?</p> <p>For a host of reasons, some consumers, especially younger military members, may find themselves with a narrow window to plan and execute their nuptials. If the unexpected or simple circumstance creates the need for an accelerated wedding day, you don&rsquo;t have to choose between elopement or the local courthouse. Here are a few ways to craft a great wedding on the fly.</p> <h3>1. Create a Checklist</h3> <p>There are a lot of sites like <a href="http://www.my-wedding-reception-planning.com/fast-wedding-planning-checklist.html">My Wedding Reception Planning</a> that offer checklists for wedding planning. Many have timelines based on how far out the wedding date is. You can follow one completely or look through and narrow it down to fit your needs. Either way, a checklist will help keep you organized to get the required and desired done.</p> <h3>2. Location, Location Location</h3> <p>If you have the means to hire a wedding planner, it may be beneficial to let them focus on booking a location. Planner or not, consider booking a place that can host both the ceremony and reception. On short notice, your best options may be restaurants or unconventional spaces like a photography studio.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll need an on-site minister to officiate, but the double-purpose location will serve your stress levels well. In a military chapel, you can save yourself time on finding a minister and use the chaplain without a fee. Unfortunately, the chapel typically books a year in advance, so be prepared with a Plan B.</p> <h3>3. Invitation Creation</h3> <p>Before you invite your guests, prepare to be turned down on such short notice. That being said, if there isn&rsquo;t enough time to order invitations, you can consider printing or handwriting your own. You can even launch your own wedding site on <a href="http://www.ewedding.com">eWedding</a> to ease communication.&nbsp;</p> <h3>4. Nix the Cake Order and Bake</h3> <p>Ordering a cake can be time consuming and expensive. Involve a family member by asking them to bake and decorate a cake or cupcakes. You can also consider nixing the cooking altogether and set up a table full of sweets from a bakery.</p> <h3>5. Provide for the Bride</h3> <p>Wedding dresses can require three weeks for alterations alone, so attempting to shop for dresses not guaranteed in stock is plain dangerous with a limited time frame. Consider heading to retail outlets like David's Bridal, where the dresses are in stock (and often kind to your budget). Ensure your hair and makeup look great by booking appointments as soon as possible and doing trial runs. Military consumers should always inquire about discounts.</p> <h3>6. The Groom Costume</h3> <p>If your groom is in the military, he&rsquo;s got his service dress, which would suit the occasion well. If you prefer to have the traditional tuxedo, be sure to rent a tux as soon as possible. That way sizes can be taken with enough time to prevent any mishaps in measurements.</p> <h3>7. Those Beside the Bride</h3> <p>Just like the bride&rsquo;s dress, ordering <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid">bridesmaids&rsquo; dresses</a> can take too long for a quick wedding. An alternative can be buying formal-looking dresses from a department store or asking your bridesmaids to buy a dress of a certain color on their own.</p> <h3>8. Food, Flowers, and Photos</h3> <p>Catering companies require booking in advance, but many restaurants offer platters that you can order a day or two beforehand. And if your reception is in a restaurant, you&rsquo;re set with deciding food.</p> <p>For flower bouquets and decorations, check your local supercenters or farmers markets. Typically flowers in season are cheapest, so if you&rsquo;re flexible with the look you can go seasonal and save some money for the honeymoon.</p> <p>Save yourself some time and stress, and scratch the professional photography by asking a family member or friend to be the designated photographer. Also, you can get random, candid photos by leaving disposable cameras around the guest tables.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-thoughtful-and-frugal-personalized-gift-ideas">25 Thoughtful and Frugal Personalized Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage">16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Lifestyle affordable weddings last minute ideas military lifestyle Mon, 01 Aug 2011 09:48:17 +0000 Chris Birk 641478 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Bridesmaid Dress Ideas From a Bridesmaid http://www.wisebread.com/5-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bridesmaids.jpg" alt="Bridesmaids" title="Bridesmaids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="136" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Oh, the bridesmaid dress. That much-maligned, expensive bit of fabric that, depending on the style chosen, can make a group of women look like ravishing goddesses or bloated Disney princess rejects.</p> <p>I have felt very honored every time I've been asked to be part of a bridal party. The weddings I have participated in have been for people who I love dearly. But when it comes time to buy The Bridesmaid Dress, I &mdash; a woman who will rarely spend over $50 on a dress that I get to choose the fit and color of myself &mdash; grit my teeth a bit. Yes, I'm happy to buy the dress to make this day special for my friend. But spending $150 (or much, much more) on one piece of clothing makes me...well. Here's a way to describe how I feel about the cost of bridesmaid dresses &mdash; the first time I ever found a grey hair on my head, it was during a bridesmaid dress fitting. Take from that what you will.</p> <p>Now, I certainly hope any former or future brides who picked or will pick me for their bridal parties won't feel like I'm laying down a guilt trip. I feel lucky to have participated in your weddings, and you've all been good, sane brides. And I should also issue a disclaimer &mdash; I have not been a bride, nor do I have any plans to be one soon. I know the wedding day is not about the bridesmaids. That said, here are a few humble dress suggestions from a woman who's had to wear her share. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-ideas-for-big-savings">Alternative Wedding Ideas for Big Savings</a>)</p> <h3>1. Give Options</h3> <p>I happily just plunked down $215 for a bridesmaid dress. Why happily? Because the bride in question found a line of dresses that gave all of her maids options for different tops and skirts. The resulting dresses manage to flatter each of our body types while still looking like one cohesive style. Even better? We got to choose from a small selection of bride-approved colors as well.</p> <h3>2. Consider a Non-Bridesmaid Dress</h3> <p>I love this <a href="http://www.glamour.com/weddings/2011/01/45-pretty-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-all-under-150">bridesmaid dress slideshow</a> from Glamour. Not only are all of the dresses are under $150, but several of them are inexpensive-yet-elegant options from easy-to-access shops like Express, Dillards, and even Wet Seal.</p> <h3>3. If You're Going to Say It's Something We Can Wear Again, Mean It</h3> <p>I have heard this refrain every time I have been a bridesmaid, and I have appreciated it. But what the bride would have occasion to wear again is not necessarily what her maids would wear. I'm not trying to tear down your image of a perfect wedding, brides. Just ponder that, OK?</p> <h3>4. Think About the Cost</h3> <p>I know, you're reading Wise Bread; this should be obvious. But your bridesmaids might also be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/classy-weddings-on-the-cheap">shelling out funds</a> for cross-country airfare, hotel stays, and (hopefully) a sweet bachelorette party as well. Take all of that into consideration.</p> <h3>5. Remember the Reception</h3> <p>Yeah, we'll all look lovely in our slinky, floor-length gowns when you say &quot;I do.&quot; But please, please do not expect us to dance the &quot;Electric Slide&quot; in those. I am clumsy. I will fall, and I will take your aunt with me.</p> <p><em>Do you have any other bridesmaid dress tips? Share them in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-pays-for-the-bridesmaid-dresses-when">Who Pays For the Bridesmaid Dresses When . . . ?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-acquire-cheap-formal-wear">10 Ways to Acquire Cheap Formal Wear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-leather-cleaners">The 5 Best Leather Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping Style affordable weddings dresses friendship Mon, 23 May 2011 09:48:12 +0000 Meg Favreau 546683 at http://www.wisebread.com Should a Second Marriage Be Celebrated (and Paid for) Like the First? http://www.wisebread.com/should-a-second-marriage-be-celebrated-and-paid-for-like-the-first <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-a-second-marriage-be-celebrated-and-paid-for-like-the-first" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3525978742_b0264eb121_zcr.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We recently had occasion to be in a wedding &mdash; a second wedding for the bride and groom. While I'm all about celebrating the union between two individuals, I couldn't help but question whether we really had to celebrate it with the same gusto that we did just a few years prior for this individual's first wedding. I'm not knocking re-marriages. After all, half of American marriages end up in divorce, so a second marriage is quite typical. In some cases, I've seen some couples that treat a second marriage as more of a formality, rather than a unique life experience that requires all the bells and whistles, while others treat it as if it's the first time &mdash; and then some.</p> <p>Here were some questions I had for my wife, who was treating the second wedding as if it were the same as a first wedding (from our budgetary perspective):</p> <h3>Engagement Party/Wedding Shower</h3> <p>For first-time newlyweds, starting a life together often means making do on meager salaries while trying to enjoy some travel time together and celebrate being young and married. It's nice to have a party or shower where you receive gifts for the house and everyday living, and this is reciprocated for all your friends and family that end up getting married themselves.&nbsp; But by a second go-around, they were already given a bunch of gifts. Is a new round of gift-giving appropriate or over the top? Perhaps a nice toned-down celebration without large gift expectations and registries? Maybe it's just me, but I felt like I just did that, and now we had to do it again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding" title="8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding">8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding</a>)</p> <h3>Bachelorette Party<strong> </strong></h3> <p>We're all familiar with the rite of passage just before the wedding day where the bride and groom to-be &quot;get it all out of their system.&quot; I get that. But if you already got it out of your system a few years ago, is an extravagant and expensive bachelorette party really necessary? Perhaps a nice local bar, drinks with the girls, and a fun night out makes sense &mdash; heck, that's good for any occasion. But going into the city, limos, new dresses, hair, and all the accouterments really add up &mdash; twice. &nbsp;Not to sound one-sided, this same concept applies to the bachelor party as well. I just happened to be viewing this from someone on my wife's side.&nbsp; But if you're both close the the new bride and groom, it could very well be a double-whammy from that standpoint as well.&nbsp; If you saw <em>The Hangover</em>, you know how expensive a Bachelor party can be!</p> <h3>Wedding Gift</h3> <p>Where we live, a typical wedding gift is usually at least $100 per head and more for close friends and family. Is it unreasonable to give less for a second wedding if we already gave a generous gift the first time? I lost that one, not that I fought too hard.&nbsp; I never want to look cheap, especially with family and friends, since something like a cheap wedding gift can cause bad blood and bickering for a lifetime. But if you were hosting a second wedding, would you expect a gift of the same financial value as your first wedding? I'm genuinely curious.</p> <h3>Money Spent to Host the Wedding</h3> <p>Since this one didn't impact our personal budget specifically, I didn't complain to my wife about what someone else spent. But in thinking about what's reasonable and what other people would do, I was curious what people think about money spent on a second wedding. With the high cost of traditional weddings, does it make financial sense to do another traditional wedding each time? Many of the participants have already celebrated your wedding previously, and after accounting for divorce costs, transitioning into a new financial situation and other uncertainties, perhaps spending over $20,000 again isn't the best move? After all, there are several <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-ideas-for-big-savings">alternative wedding ideas</a> to save money while celebrating. And it can become costly for attendees as well. Not to be facetious, but where do you draw the line between when subsequent weddings are treated differently? I would assume after the first, but maybe that's just me.</p> <p>Before you judge me too harshly as a &quot;second marriage hater,&quot; let me say that I'm all for people being happy and celebrating their unions. I think many second marriages are much more successful and happy than first marriages. People should do what's right for them and do what makes them happy. It's just that for those on the periphery, we've been through your celebration once before &mdash; we've paid our dues! And <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/things-dont-cost-what-they-used-to-10-major-price-shifts-in-2010">things don't cost what they used to</a>. It's a tough time for a lot of people financially right now, and when looking to treat a repeat event as a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, isn't it just a bit over the top?</p> <p><em>What are your thoughts?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darwins-money">Darwins Money</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-a-second-marriage-be-celebrated-and-paid-for-like-the-first">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-a-relationship-work-when-one-partner-earns-more">Making a Relationship Work When One Partner Earns More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid">5 Bridesmaid Dress Ideas From a Bridesmaid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-put-on-and-leave-off-your-wedding-registry">What to Put On (and Leave Off) Your Wedding Registry</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding">8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas">Alternative Wedding Registry Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle affordable weddings marriage and finances wedding gifts Fri, 21 Jan 2011 13:00:55 +0000 Darwins Money 464311 at http://www.wisebread.com