Great Wedding Does Not Have to Mean Great Debt

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Wedding sunsetYour wedding should be a wonderful affair no matter how big or small.  However, since you don’t want to be paying it off for years to come, it is essential to develop a sensible budget.  Fortunately, free budget creation and management tools are available at that will help you hold down costs while still having a fantastic day.

Figuring the Cost

Since the cost of a wedding could easily run into tens of thousands of dollars, it is essential to decide what kind of wedding you want and can afford.  Even though you may plan for a simple ceremony and small reception for a handful of guests, the cost could still be several thousand dollars.

The cost of a wedding generally depends upon the:

  • Number of Guests
  • Venue of Ceremony and Reception
  • Bridal Gown and accessories
  • Bridal Party Dress
  • Hair and Makeup
  • Food and Drinks
  • Wedding Cake
  • Music
  • Cars
  • Photography
  • Flowers

Here’s a more detailed list of potential expenses, some of which are often not considered.  Proper planning will help make certain you cover all the bases when determining how much this special event will cost.

CEWedding Couple HandsREMONY – Location Fee, Officiate Fee, Marriage License, Musician’s Fees, Ring Pillows

RECEPTION SITE – Food, Drinks, Rentals, Cake, Guest Favors

ATTIRE – Bride’s Dress, Headpiece/Veil, Undergarments and Hosiery, Shoes, Accessories, Jewelry, Groom’s Tuxedo or Suit, Shoes, Bow Tie, Cuff Links, Studs, Suspenders

HAIR AND MAKEUP – Bride, Bridesmaids, Other Bridal Party Members

RINGS – His and Hers (with Engraving)

FLOWERS CEREMONY – Bride’s Bouquet, Maid-Of-Honor and Bridesmaid Bouquets, Corsages and Boutonnieres, Centerpieces, Flower-Girl Basket

MUSIC – Musicians, Band and/or DJ for Ceremony and/or Reception, Instrument and Equipment Rentals

PHOTOGRAPHY – Photographer and Videographer Fees, Albums, Additional Prints, Disposable Cameras

TRANSPORTATION – Wedding Party, Guest Shuttle and/or Parking Attendants

STATIONERY – Invitations, Response Cards, Thank You Notes, Postage, Calligraphy, Guest Book

GIFTS – Bridesmaid and Groomsmen, Parents, Out-Of-Town Guests

Saving for the Big Wedding Day

Once you have determined how much you need or would like to spend on your big day, it’s time to figure out where the money will come from.  Set a date that’s far off enough so you will have time to save for the wedding.

  1. Start saving as early as possible.
  2. Save 10-20% from each paycheck for your wedding savings.
  3. If you can’t afford the above or it isn’t sufficient to cover your anticipated costs, ask family and perhaps very close friends if they can contribute.
  4. Open a savings account or a term deposit account to earn a higher interest rate on your savings.

Make sure not to use these funds for any other purpose.

Here’s another simple way to help you reach your wedding savings goal:  change some of your spending habits.  For example, instead of going to the movies, rent a DVD, order On Demand from your cable provider, or download a video via the web.  Instead of eating at a restaurant on work days, start taking your lunch.  Then calculate how much you would save by the week, month and year.  You may be surprised how quickly it will all add up.

Ways to Reduce Expenses

  • Limit the guest list to close relatives and friends.Wedding Cake
  • Email your save-the-date alerts.
  • Create your own invitation as a single page, which will also save on postage.
  • Make the dress yourself with help from friends or buy or rent the wedding dress and tuxedos online.
  • Bake your own wedding cake.
  • Ask a friend who is a good photographer to take the photos.
  • Buy flowers that are in season and have a friend help with the arrangements.
  • Reuse ceremony flowers for the reception.
  • Hold your ceremony and reception at the same location.
  • Offer beer and wine instead of a full bar.
  • Create a fun menu of tasty, but inexpensive food.
  • Hire a band or DJ who can do both the ceremony and the reception.

Be sure to visit to utilize the free budget forms and tools that will help keep your special day memorable, yet still affordable.




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