How to Save Money on a Wedding

Having a grand wedding does not necessarily have to burn a hole in your pocket. The following section gives many tips to save money on a wedding.
Wedessence Staff
A person's wedding day is a very important time as it is a turning point in that person's life. They should be able to enjoy that day with their beloved, instead of fretting over the expenses incurred for the wedding.
The first task in planning any wedding is setting up the wedding budget. It is a very crucial part of planning the wedding. There are many aspects in a wedding where costs can be controlled to a great extent.
You cannot have a wedding without inviting your near and dear ones; family and friends who are important people in your life, and with whom you want to share your precious joy. There are ways to cut corners in your wedding reception, while taking care that it is still memorable.
Venue & Menu: The best time to have a wedding is during festivals. The churches are already decorated thus helping you save a lot of money on wedding decorations. Other ideas to save money will be to have your wedding on a weekday or a Sunday night, so that you get sufficient discounts on the wedding hall as well as from the caterers. Alternatively, you can go for a small town wedding. Don't plan an elaborate meal. Go for buffets and simple recipes instead. A lunch or brunch instead of dinner, and having the ceremony and reception at the same venue, can also help in savings. Ask a family member or friend to officiate your wedding instead of having a minister.
Guest List: Special occasions are celebrated with special people. Cut down your guest list to include only those intimate family members and friends who matter the most to you, instead of handing out invitations to everyone you know. While sending your invitations, ask the people to revert with their confirmations through emails, or by simply calling you. This saves you postage as you do not need to include an RSVP card with the invite.
Schedule: It is absolutely necessary to stick to the planned schedule. The band and the venue charges may increase if your wedding goes beyond the agreed time schedule.
Band: Any wedding is incomplete without the traditional wedding music. However, it is up to you to decide whether you want a band, or some music of your choice. If you want an expensive band only because your friend had it in her wedding, you will have to shell out the extra buck. Instead, go for small bands that are good but not yet popular.
Decorations: Instead of spending exorbitantly on wedding decorations, you can ask your friends to help you make the decorations and favors at home. Making the invitations too will help you save a lot of money.
Flowers: Flowers are a part of decorations. Instead of ordering exotic flowers, use just one or two varieties. If you are artistically inclined, you can even make your wedding bouquet yourself. You can also invite your bridesmaids over to make their bouquets.
Alcohol: It is a surprising fact that when you buy your own alcohol, you save a lot of money. So, purchase your own alcohol for the ceremony, and instruct the bartender to offer only a limited choice of drinks.
The most important aspect of a wedding for any bride is the wedding dress. However, these dresses are quite expensive to purchase. There are a few ways to save money on a wedding dress though.
Buy a Dress on Discount: You can buy your dress online from the various sites that offer attractive discounts. Go for off-season and sample sales to get a good bargain. There are also various bridal chain stores which can be good for wedding dress shopping as they have a variety in affordable price ranges. Just remember to stick to your budget and not overspend.
Rent: Although not a pleasing idea to many, there are stores that rent out beautiful wedding gowns. If you think practically, you will realize that there is no reason for you to spend so much on your dress. You can rent one instead for less than half the price. Antique shops also rent vintage gowns, which can make for a unique dress.
Borrow: You can borrow a dress from a friend or family member, make a few changes to it so that it looks different, and wear it on your wedding day. If the dress belongs to a family member, like your mother or sister, you can even get it altered.
Sew: Hire a seamstress, give her your design, and tell her what you need. You may have to compromise on the type of cloth, but you will have a dress that is designed by you. The veil and headpiece can be made by your mother, grandmother, or a friend. You can even skip these altogether and do your hair in the latest style.
Accessories: Avoid too many ornaments and accessories. While buying wedding shoes, keep in mind that they are hidden below your dress. Remember that when you spend so much on shoes, you should also be able to wear them on other occasions.
A wedding cake is an integral part of every wedding, but it does not come cheap. However, there are several ways to cut down on this expense.
Save a Cake: Get a small and beautiful cake for your ceremony and a sheet cake of the same flavor for the guests. The sugar frosting can be replaced with candied fruits or chocolates. This brings down the cost of the cake decoration. If you must have a tiered cake, you can ask your baker to create false layers of iced Styrofoam above or beneath the real tier. Avoid choosing exotic cake flavors.
Buy One: If you buy the cake at a supermarket and get it decorated at some bakery, or even at a cooking class, you save a lot of money. Even the cake ornaments can be bought cheap at a bakery. Borrow the cake pillars or rent them instead.
Bake One: If you have an accomplished baker in your family, you can plan ahead and bake the cake. Along with being cost-effective, it will add a personal touch to your wedding.
Having a wedding photographer is important, but you can limit the time for which he is hired. You can also ask a family member or friend to step in. Here are a few options.
Professional: Employ a wedding photographer for the ceremony and only the first two hours of the reception. Pose for your photos first and then send him packing.
Family: There is bound to be someone in your family with experience in photography whom you can ask to take photos. They will be willing to help you out. You can also ask them to video shoot your wedding ceremony.
A wedding day is the start of a new journey for two people. It should be cherished and remembered for the events, and not for the high expenditure.