A wedding is the eternal symbol of love and devotion; a sacred ceremony that binds and celebrates the forever union of two special people. It’s also darned expensive–which is why, if you plan to say “I do” at any point in the future, then you also should be willing to say “I’ll save” and now!
It’s time to ask yourselves the question, Can you Afford to Wed? – Find Out How to Save Dollars Now… Granted, as their much anticipated wedding date approaches, most passionate and devoted couples are seeing hearts in their eyes-as opposed to bonafide dollar signs. They may not know or care just how much money it costs to stage the perfect ceremony,one that they, their friends and their family members are sure to enjoy and remember for a long time to come.
Yet even the most romantic of couples do not come complete with a built in guardian fairy; one who can simply wave a wand to conjure the wedding of their dreams. That is why wise couples must plan ahead for best results; planning and saving as they travel that mystical road that leads to their future together. And by following this simple checklist, they can assure that their ‘big day’ will not place them in big debt.
• Plan a long engagement– Impulsive weddings can be quite romantic and really a great deal of fun that is if you are a multi-millionaire who has a lot of cash on hand to sink in a quick but elegant weekend wedding. For most people, however, it is advisable to allow yourself plenty of time to plan and save for the big event. If possible, in fact, allow yourself a year or more to prepare for the ceremony; perhaps dividing the cost of the wedding into monthly installments and saving back that exact amount from one’s paycheck. In that way, the bride and groom will not put undue strain on their budgets and bank accounts. Oh, and speaking of bank accounts.
• Establish a wedding bank account– Set up a joint bank account reserved only for those monies that will fund the ceremony. Keep it totally separate from personal banking and checking accounts, and certainly from business accounts. This fund should contain only those dollars that are budgeted and set to be spent on the couple’s wedding.
• Set limits– Sit down together and decide exactly how much you can afford to spend on your wedding as a whole; then research those individual components needed to make this ceremony a smash success. On average, how much will it take to purchase a gown? A tuxedo? A cake? Other food to be served at the reception? Decorations? And, for that matter, how much will it take to rent a ceremonial hall? A reception area? A limousine, complete with a driver? The services of a photographer, a caterer, a deejay or musical entertainer to perform at the reception? Be sure to take into account all of the costs that you will incur in staging the ultimate wedding; or, at the very least, a very nice ceremony that you both can afford.• Shoot for the stars but keep your feet on the ground– Once you have researched the approximate cost of each of these items or services, set a financial cap on each of them; in other words, decide just how much money you wish to spend on the things you need to make this wedding a success. For while the bride would no doubt love to trek down the aisle ensconced in a designer gown worthy of a royal princess, and the groom might like to hire Usher or Adele to rock the house, and most romantically, at the reception, chances are that both of these dreams would be a bit difficult to realize in terms of financial feasibility. This is why the husband and wife must set an approximate dollar amount on each major budget item; leaving a bit of room for extravagance on important items such as wedding gowns and cakes. After all, a wedding is a once in a lifetime event, as well as a fanciful and elegant one at that!
• Shop for bargains– Before pouring a great deal of dollars into big ticket items, feel free to look around and shop for bargains when shopping for wedding related goods. Visit a variety of bridal and department stores in your and surrounding areas, surf the Internet for online wedding and party supply sites, and—if needed—check out thrift shops, yard and garage sales, and consignment stores. Also if necessary, find online auction and clearance sale sites that might offer required items—and perhaps at a deep discount or a negotiated rate (such as the price that you would pay if you scored the winning bid in an online auction).
• Attend bridal shows– Most major cities, and a good number of mid-sized communities, offer full scale and very elegant events known as bridal shows; events in which numerous vendors gather to offer wares that range from wedding gowns to beautiful florals, catering to musical services. These providers are competing for your business and will be conveniently located in a single venue; at the end of the day you may have scored the ideal dress, an organist who can pull off an unbelievable rendition of Here Comes the Bride, and the perfect balloon arch to greet guests as they enter the reception hall.
• Rely on the relatives– When it comes to planning a wedding, the old adage that involves relying on the kindness of strangers simply doesn’t apply; unless, of course, one feels comfortable just approaching a random person on the street and asking them to cover the overall cost of a stunning rose bouquet. It may be a better idea, however, to appeal to one’s relatives for the money and merchandise needed to pull off a successful wedding. In many instances, for example, the parents of the bride and groom each may be willing to cover the cost of a certain part of the wedding, whether it’s the ceremony, the reception, etc.
Good luck and good love!