Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Weddings and Saving Money: An Oxymoronic Dream?

Weddings cost an arm and a leg. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about it; you’ve all been involved and seen thousands upon thousands disappear on dresses, catering, venues, invitations, makeup, hair, presents and a three piece swing band followed by a quartet. It’s a lot of money.
So is it possible to have a wedding and not have to refinance your home (or, more likely, your parents home)? Here are a few tips to help keep the bill in the land of reality.

Look Around You
Chances are you are surrounded by people with many gifts. We all know musicians, people who are witty off the cuff and older ladies who can sow just about anything. Use the people around you to help with the wedding. After all, it’s a way to involve people you care about in your big day as well as trimming the costs. Ask to borrow your best mate’s Mercedes instead of hiring a limousine. Have a grandmother who makes the best cakes ever? There’s your wedding cake. If you have a friend who is forever snapping away with their three cameras, now is the time to give them a call.

Be Brutal
I come from a Greek and Italian background; I know what it’s like to feel pressured to invite everyone you know. If you have plans to keep the costs down, keeping the guest list down is the most important thing you can do. Don’t invite people just because you feel like you should, or because they invited you to their wedding. Surround yourself with the people you love and want to witness your big day. Ignore stern maternal expressions and all guilt provoking comments.

Choose the Time of Day
The time you hold your wedding and reception can significantly trim the costs of your day. Hold the wedding at midday and the reception can be bubbly and nibblies. There’s no need to have a sit down feast if you would prefer to keep things casual. Acknowledge that most people would prefer to have a couple of glasses of nice red than a roast in summer time and cater for it. Choose to have your wedding on a less popular day of the week (as in, any day than Saturday) and you can trim your costs further.

Spend the Money on the Things That Matter
Wedding invitations are not the most important aspect of your wedding. Do it yourself, and save a lot of money and heartache over the proper wording and whether or not his parents should precede yours. Get some copies of your favourite picture and write the invitation details on the back. Use kids party invites and set the tone for a casual day of fun, rather than stiff formal proceedings. Save your money for a dress you really love, or squeezing in a couple of friends from way back.

Avoid the money pitfalls
This is a fantastic list of the biggest money wasters, My favourite is the discussion of favours or thank you presents. This is a phenomenon I have only just learnt about. I never knew you could receive presents for going to a wedding. Why not use Nina Calloway’s suggestion of a breakfast bag with some scones, nice tea and homemade jam? Personally, homemade jam is my favourite present so if anyone wants to send me an invitation, make sure homemade jam is included.

Posted by: Francesca Sidoti

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