Planning a wedding is always a challenge, and the bride and groom with the best of intentions, will find it difficult to remain under budget for this once-in-a-lifetime event. A wedding is usually planned over a year or two and while many couples rely on their parents funding the entire event, others will pay for it themselves, and herein lies the problem.
After living together perhaps for a few years and essentially sharing finances already, a couple getting married will not necessarily have enough money for a wedding. Now, I am not saying that parents are any more likely to have tons of money lying around, but a new couple just starting their lives together will find the burden overwhelming and may get into trouble soon into their married lives. To put an end to all this and plan ahead to get extra cash, is what every couple should do. If your wedding is in 1 year, you still have enough time to save up for this huge occasion.
While not every wedding has to be big and expensive, there are some expectations that people have for their big day and certain decorum and appropriate measures that have to be taken into account. For example, it is customary for the bride to have a bouquet, as well as the bride’s maids. Each member of the wedding party is traditionally supposed to wear a lapel flower or corsage. You can adapt these traditions to fit into your budget and style of wedding, but this is just an example of the small things you need to consider when raising money for your wedding. You will have to save money for the following things:
• Before any wedding day planning can be done, the invitations must be written and sent out to all the guests. You will need to cover costs of designing, printing and postage. Before you send these, you must have a venue in place with its deposit to secure the day, and be sure to sort your wedding registry out as well.
• Bridal gown and brides’ maids outfits as well as the groom’s and best man’s tux.
• The bride will need to have her hair and make up done. Some brides will do this themselves, but will still need to set aside money for the accessories, pins, hairspray, etc.
• Flowers. This will be for the venues, bouquets, corsages, and any other area you like.
• Décor for the venue, which can include vases, table cloths, candles, lights, archways, fabric and more.
• The wedding venue itself. If you are getting married in a church, you might only be required to give a donation for the minister’s time and the organist.
• Jewelry and other accessories for the wedding party. Usually a bride will make a piece of jewelry her gift to the bride’s maids.
• The groom will also need to get a gift for his best man and groomsmen, which could be in the form of cufflinks, or something else to be used for the wedding.
• Food. This will account for the largest section of your budget and it will differ greatly depending on if you have a morning, lunchtime or evening wedding and if you choose to have a 3 course sit down meal, or a selection of finger food platters for the guests. (HINT: Having snacks for a casual wedding will cut down catering costs a lot, and you will not need to hire as many chairs, tables, cloths, and table arrangements for guests to sit at.)
• The wedding cake.
• Accommodation for your wedding night. This is part of the wedding that couples forget to add into their budgets, but you will need to have a place to stay for your wedding night before heading off for the honeymoon. Usually a hotel venue will offer this service included in the venue costs.
• The honeymoon. Depending on where you want to go, the costs will vary dramatically.
So, now that you have a general idea as to what needs to be included in your wedding budget, you have 1 year to make this all happen. Weddings are costly and the price can range anywhere from $5000 for a budget wedding, excluding the honeymoon, to well over $1,000,000. The price will be determined by a large number of things including, the venue, season, types of flowers, size of the wedding party, amount of guests, type of catering you choose, extravagance of outfits, among other things.
So, how do you save up and get the wedding you have always dreamed of?
Here are 15 ways:
1. The simple way, is to set aside a percentage of your earnings every month to go towards your wedding. This can be tricky because many of the items will need to be paid for ahead of time and you might only have 6 months to save using this method.
2. Another way to get your wedding covered is to take out a personal loan. This is only recommended if are very good with your monthly payments and can afford to pay the installments back on time every month. Many couples using this method sometimes get in over their heads and sit with financial troubles later when they are in bad debt.
3. To get a lot of money in a short space of time, you can arrange for friends and family to give you your wedding gifts in advance. Instead of having a wedding registry, you can kindly request that all the guests donate an amount of money to you as your wedding gift. This works wonderfully if you have a large guest list and if you already have household items from living together.
4. Take out an extra job or two. This is great for making extra money and on the weekends, you can offer to cut all the lawns in your neighborhood to earn extra cash. Make it fun and let people know that it is for your wedding. People are bound to be generous if you have a sense of humorous about it.
5. You can also take a weekend job working at a bar or restaurant. You can earn a large amount of money in tips if you really put your mind to it. You can find tons of other options for a secondary income.
6. You can offer private tutoring of some kind like dancing, extra math or offer a computer course for beginners.
7. Make dolls clothes or jewelry to sell. You can sell anything you can make cheaply and earn a profit from. This can also include jams, biscuits, and perhaps small artworks.
8. Have a yard sale, which will help you get rid of some old junk in the process. You can get all your friends and family to contribute to the sale as well. All of the money you make with this second income must go into a separate wedding bank account, to make sure you don’t spend it on other things.
9. To save money for your wedding is a great exercise in self control and will take all of your negotiation skills and financial wits to pull it off, especially if you have a very limited budget. You must try to find all the cheapest possible ways to get your wedding done the way you want it.
10. This might involve getting a friend to bake your wedding cake instead of hiring a professional chef.
11. You can make your own invitations and place cards. Professional printers are expensive.
12. You could choose to use fabric flowers instead of real ones, especially if the flowers you want are out of season and double the normal price, and you can also cut down on the costs of flowers by using cheaper items such as painted twigs and beads in your floral arrangements and bouquet. Once you are convinced that you have the absolute cheapest methods possible to allow your wedding planning to go ahead, you will then have to look at your finances in details. Have your reduced wedding budget in front of you and decide on how much money you will need to save every month to be able to afford everything. Take into account that most of the items will need to be paid for in advance. This means that for some months you will have to fork out more money than other months. Working out your finances in such details will help you to cut down on your spending and save more.
13. You can do this by looking at your lifestyle. Try to cut down on your entertainment for each month. Only go to the cinema once a month instead of three.
14. You can eat at home more often and cancel your art classes for a while.
15. If you have the willpower, cancel your gym membership and rather go jogging with your fiancé. All the little things that you can do will definitely help your situation and will allow you to have the perfect wedding that you want, without the stresses of being in debt and having to pay out tons of money that you cannot afford.
A wedding is a magical time in anyone’s life and it seems a pity that finances and the hefty costs have to spoil the ultimate meaning of the day. Unfortunately in this modern world, they do and we have to deal with this in the best way possible without letting it affect the relationship with your fiancé, the wedding, and the love you share. When you decide to get married, it is easy to get swept up in the romance of it all and couple’s very quickly forget to come down to earth and adjust their lives to make this event as perfect as possible. To save enough money for your special wedding, don’t leave your saving plans for too long.
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