They say if you marry in June, you’re a bride all your life, but that doesn’t mean you need to be paying for the wedding for just as long. Because June is still one of the most popular months in which to get married, it is also one of the costliest; but there are a variety of ways for an engaged couple to plan an inexpensive (read: cheap) wedding on a budget – for any time of the year – and still make it an event to remember.
Plan to visit as many wedding trade shows as you can and bring a friend or two. There are endless bridal expos out there and they aren’t just limited to “wedding season”; you can often find one in every month of the year. Not only are there tons of freebies here and there (and who doesn’t love free stuff?), you’ll have the opportunity to taste-test all the cakes and cupcakes you want; be inspired by infinite styles and designs of save-the-date postcards, invitations and thank you cards; check out more suits, tuxedos, gowns and dresses than the Met Gala and much more! Remember you are under no obligation to engage any of the services, but such shows are a great source of information and ideas. While you’re there, make sure that you and everyone who accompanied you enters each of the contests that the vendors have to offer. It’s surprising how favorable the odds are to win limousine service or free rental of bridesmaid dresses for your special day.
Custom-designed flower arrangements; floral centerpieces; boutonnieres; and bouquets often prove to be one of the most expensive components of a couple’s wedding budget, but one of the easiest to execute on your own. No-one is going to notice that the groom and ushers aren’t wearing boutonnieres so eliminate them altogether and save. Moreover, huge floral arrangements at either end of a church pew or row of chairs won’t be missed either and take up a lot of unnecessary room regardless. Centerpieces on each dining table don’t have to include flowers at all. Substitute a flame-less candle in a jar with shells or rose petals or whatever bits and pieces may match your chosen theme. Truly, the only instance where flowers may be deemed a necessity is in the bride’s bouquet. Think of hitting the local dollar store for dozens of colors and sizes from which you can make a beautiful arrangement for next to nothing. If you have your heart set on real flowers, head to your local grocery store the morning of your big day. There you’ll find a wide assortment of options to choose from at a fraction of the cost of a florist’s shop.
Try to avoid what may be currently trending this year in planning a wedding. While ostentatious invitations or outrageous lighting schemes may be the latest crazes, indulging these temptations will guarantee your budget is exceeded and most certainly, add to an already stressful task. Understated and simple (read: cheap) can still be elegant, eye-catching and more importantly, cost-effective. Tap the artistic abilities of your network of friends, family and acquaintances who may be invitees to your special day by suggesting they contribute to the wedding in lieu of a gift. The mom who makes cakes for all the kids parties can probably bake up a lovely wedding cake; a workmate who DJs on the side can pitch in with some music; a cousin who owns a family restaurant can provide the venue and host; and anyone with a printer and creative flair can design invitations or make decorations.
There are myriad ways to cut back on expenses when planning a wedding, or any event for that matter. Guests will only remember what a great time they had sharing in your special day and not the things that weren’t there. In the end, it’s a day especially for the bride and groom and they, along with all the imaginative touches they propose, will ultimately make for a unique and memorable day.