Marriage is a big event the world over; even the seemingly poorest countries tend to have wedding traditions that call for lavish affairs and big head counts. In the West, a run-of-the mill wedding can easily run over 20,000 and many might consider that a bargain! No doubt it is a special day that you want to commemorate, but if you are not keen on maxing out your credit cards or taking out a loan that you will pay back for years after the event, it is possible to still have a nice wedding that fits your budget.
Focus on the ‘’Wants’’ and not the ‘’Shoulds’’
We do a lot of things in life that we may not want to because we think we ‘’should.’’ Weddings are no exception, and I think this is a main reason that people end up spending more on this event than they are comfortable with. There is an arbitrary idea about what a wedding is supposed to be like, and we feel the pressure to do it just like that. Remember, the wedding is about celebrating your love and commitment—do that however you want and forget the rest. Do not invite people to the wedding that you think you ‘’should’’ if you have not spoken to them in years –or in the case of mom’s friends from book club—never even met. Do not spend thousands of dollars on a professional photographer if you are perfectly happy with some shots from a digital camera.
Look for Students to Provide Services
There are plenty of uber- talented students of cosmetology, music, culinary arts and photography, for example, which would be happy to gain some experience practicing their craft. They are plenty good at what they do and you can get their services for a nominal fee. Reach out to schools, check out sites like Craigslist, and maybe even post your own ads specifying what you are looking for. Just like the professionals you would hire, check out their work beforehand to see if it is up to snuff for you.
This is kind of related to the ‘’shoulds’’ I was talking about earlier; there are lots of elements to your wedding that are open to less expensive substitutions. Instead of the fancy wedding cake, go for some cupcakes placed nicely on a three-tiered tray. Skip the fancy rehearsal dinner and go for a pizza party instead—it can be nice to just relax a bit and have some fun; the wedding is formal and that is good enough. Save some money and some trees by skipping save-the-dates—shoot an email or make a phone call instead. Have a great selection of music on your IPod? Forget the DJ and rent some inexpensive sound equipment for some DIY entertainment. The music is what people really care about anyway, not the colorful, sometimes corny, commentary.
You may want the stretch limo, but if a regular one can fit everyone you need, just go with that. Instead of renting a limo for the whole day, consider just using it for when it will have the most dramatic effect. Do you really need a limo to take you to the ceremony location to get ready? Maybe you can just get it at the end of the reception, where everyone is sending you off. This way you can just pay an hourly rate. Skip amenities that you probably will have little use for. If you are holding your wedding during a time when limos are less in demand, you may have some room to negotiate a price.